Thesis defence Farzaneh Fakhredin

18 December 2018 14:30 - Location: Aula, TU Delft - By: Communication

On Tuesday 18 December, Farzaneh Fakhredin will defend her thesis ‘Design for Recycling of Electronic Products: How to bridge the gap between design methods and recycling practices’. The defence will take place at 15:00 in the Aula of the TU Delft. The Laymen’s talk starts at 14:30.

The promotors of Farzaneh are Prof. Conny Bakker, Prof. Ruud Balkenende and Prof. Jo Geraedts.

Short summary of thesis
More than ever before, electronic products are intruding into our everyday life, both in the household and in industry, resulting in increasing numbers of electronic products ending up in waste streams (also known as electronic waste, or e-waste). Electronic products contain a wide range of materials, such as iron, steel, lead, plastics, glass, aluminium, copper and precious metals. Materials are assembled using different types of connections, such as click or snap-fit joints, adhesive tape, screws, glue and soldering. Furthermore, different arrangements and positioning of materials, as well as the connections between them, lead to different kinds of product structures. These characteristics can make the recycling process for electronic products more or less difficult.

Design is seen as pivotal in the creation of products that can facilitate the recycling process. For this reason, in the past two decades there has been considerable research on DfR, resulting in a large number of methods and tools being developed. The aim of these methods is to assist designers in assessing the recyclability of their designs and to select adequate product design features that facilitate the recycling process. However, these methods do not seem to have been very effective; particularly not in the case of electronic products. This is because, despite the considerable number of methods developed thus far, and what they claim in theory, electronic products are still not being optimally disintegrated and separated in actual recycling processes. Consequently, the aim of this thesis is to uncover the various reasons for the mismatch between the theory and practice of DfR by undertaking a number of studies.